Michael Jackson's personal physician was charged today with involuntary manslaughter in the singer's death. Over the years, I have not spent a lot of time considering Michael Jackson's work. I remember being astonished at the stunning performance of "Billy Jean," on Motown 25. And I have, of course, enjoyed a lot of his music. But as he burrowed himself into the consciousness of the supermarket news rack brain trust, I just didn't waste a lot of time thinking about him.
Then I watched THIS IS IT the other day.
Man. That would have been one hell of a show.
And man, that was a guy who has no business being dead.
The drug administered by the recently-hired private physician is dubbed "milk of amnesia."
Saw Jeff Bridges in CRAZY HEART yesterday. Yeah. He's damn good. The movie, not so much. And, truth be told, Jeff's work, while terrific, is not all that astounding, mainly because the character doesn't have a lot of depth or dimension, and where he goes in the movie is on a journey that has been filmed time and time and time again. Particularly, it was filmed in the eighties as TENDER MERCIES and it featured the brilliant performance of Robert Duvall, who is also in CRAZY HEART, and is also one of CRAZY HEART's producers. Duvall's story in TM is far more complicated, and Duvall's performance is memorable. This is not to take anything away from Bridges, who is pretty much always watchable anytime he's on screen in anything he does. I'm just sayin'. I'm just sayin' this movie didn't seem to be much of a challenge. And, I'm sorry, the pretty, plucky, young, intelligent Maggie Gyllenhaal character would never fall so quickly for the aging, boozed up singer Jeff brings to the screen. I mean, his cigarette breath alone would scare her away.
So, for my money, at least at this point, I opt for George Clooney in UP IN THE AIR as my Oscar pick for Best Actor. He won't win, but I think Clooney risked more, and found more in his character than was written for Bridges.
I want to see AVATAR, but I just don't know if I can deal with the glasses. However, I don't want to see it 2D. What a dilemma. And there's no way I luck into one of my famous 4:30 pm private viewings with this one.
I have a female friend who doesn't understand what all the hoopla is about Rose Byrne, who stars with Glenn Close on TV's DAMAGES. She doesn't see what I see in the actress. I chalk this up to the fact that my friend is, as noted, a female friend.
I watched Elia Kazan's PANIC IN THE STREETS the other night, streamed in on my Netflix account through the new HD DVR. Here is a movie about the possibility of the plague sweeping into 1950's New Orleans, directed by the man who brought ON THE WATERFRONT to the screen. Sheesh. Rarely have I seen such a ham-handed film in my life, with poor Richard Widmark, as the doctor nobody will listen to, screaming his medical head off from frame to frame, scaring his poor (probably now deaf) wife Barbara Bel Geddes in the process. WATERFRONT came after PANIC. Guess Elia learned something about the movies. Like they have microphones and cameras. Sheesh again.
Now that I'm totally enamored of stadium seating at the movies, any time I have to look upwards at a screen it just feels so wrong.
This is one of those days, clearly, when I am forcing myself to write a blog entry. Thank you for your patience.
Whoever you are.